Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our First Online Q&A Session Of 2017

We have been holding online Q&A sessions for the general public for roughly the last two years or so.  Each month, we meet for an hour to address any questions - as best as I can (sometimes drawing upon the expertise of some of the other attendees) - and engage in discussion about Hegel's thought and works and the application of his philosophy.  (I have to admit that we often do stray into other territory, though!)

Up to the session that we will be holding tomorrow - at 5 PM Central Time - we have been using Google Hangouts as our meeting place.  Well, it's a new year, and we're switching to a new, better platform for the meeting sessions, one we've used for our online courses and seminars - FreeConferenceCall.com.

Now, if you're interested in joining the Public Q&A session, you don't have to wait for me to open up a hangout and post the link to it.  Here's the link for the session space tomorrow right here.

I should mention that these sessions - and the ongoing production of the video series - are effectively underwritten by my Patreon supporters.  If you find that you benefit from the Half Hour Hegel series, and you aren't already a supporter, you might consider - in this new year - becoming one.  If not, make sure to express any gratitude you feel towards my Patreon supporters who make this ongoing work possible!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Three Videos on Virtue and the Way of the World

Before the end of last year, we started "Virtue and the Way of the World" - the last portion of the "Actualization of Rational Self-Consciousness Through Its Own Activity, which is the second big part of the Reason section of the Phenomenology.

With this dialectical development - one that, like the two preceding it, still bears many implications for people in our contemporary world - we work through another common way in which human beings strive after some shape of happiness.  In this case, at least at the start of the development, the individual commits him or herself to something bigger, something that appears transcendent to projected of concealed individual desires and their satisfactions.

Virtue in this modern sense - for Hegel clearly distinguishes what he is examining from earlier, ancient and medieval conceptions of virtue - presents itself by way of opposition to a "way of the world", a generalized environment of ultimately self-centered individuals and the actions, practices, and institutions they engage in.  How does this conflict end up?  It seems at first that virtue ought to be the natural winner - that there isn't even really a contest.  But that's not what actually turns out to be the case.

Here are the first three video lectures from that portion of the text.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hegel Holiday Party - Join Us And Raise A Glass!

This month, we've got a milestone to celebrate in the Half Hour Hegel project, and I'd be happy if you'd join me in an online session to do precisely that!

We've passed the 150-video mark in the series, and are very close to the half-way point of the entire Phenomenology!  There's still some material - and very cool stuff, actually - to cover in the 200+-paragraph-long Reason section, but we're almost done with that section of the work, and ready to move into the massive, rich, and fascinating Spirit portion.

I'm going to be opening up the last Google Hangout of the year tomorrow, December 23, from 2-3 PM Central Time - that's where we'll have the party (and I may well stay on for a good bit past the official end-time, depending on what we talk about).  I'll post the link to the hangout as soon as it opens on my social media - my Google+my Facebook, and my Twitter.

I'll be having a beer or two as we carry out our discussion.  Whatever it is that you'd like to drink  - beer, a cocktail, apple cider, coffee, hot chocolate. . . . -  I invite you to join us for a toast to the success of the project, and some enjoyable conversation about Hegel and philosophy!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Finishing Up with the Law Of The Heart

The section "The Law of the Heart and the Frenzy of Self-Conceit" took six videos in total to work our way through.  We're now ready to move on into the next section, "Virtue and the Way of the World".

What we find as we work through this section is that the Law of the Heart does not prove to be a reliable way for the individual person to make sense out of his or her existence through practical action. In fact, the individual ends up really making a mess out of things by following that Law - which is precisely why it ends up in its dialectical opposite, the "frenzy of self-conceit".

It is an age-old story in some respects, but one that assumes particular importance for the modern consciousness.  The person find within him or herself something that protests, that revolts against what seems like an unjust, arbitrary, and exploitative world order - one that not only bears upon a suffering humanity, but even blinds that humanity to its oppression.  So it seems that the right thing to do is to externalize this law of the heart, to substitute it for the ordering governing the world.  But how well does that work out in practice?  That's where adopting a dialectic perspective - which is what Hegel is working out - reveals some fundamental problems with this approach.

Here's the three videos wrapping up this section:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December Half Hour Hegel Online Q&A Session Today

The monthly Half Hour Hegel online Q&A session will be taking place later today - from 5:00-6:00 PM Central Time.  If you've got any Hegel-related questions, or you'd just like to chat about Hegel and other matters (we often end up on tangents), come on over to our virtual space!

We'll still be using a Google Hangout for this one, and you can find the link to it - once I open the hangout - posted in multiple places.  I'll put in on my Patreon page, my Facebook page, my Google+ profile, and in my Twitter feed.

Next month, we'll be switching to a new platform, and that will enable us to provide the links ahead of time - and perhaps have a bit more reliable videoconferencing.

I should also mention that in addition to this Q&A session, were also having an online Hegel Holiday Party on the 23rd to celebrate passing the 150-video mark!  More news about that next week.